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Possible hernia?

My son is 13 years old. He had a yearly physical in July and as a routine part of the exam he was checked for a hernia. His doctor said he did not have one. Two weeks ago my son came down with the flu and a sinus infection followed a week later. He has been coughing a lot for two weeks. A few days ago he complained of pain and some swelling in his groin area and said that walking was uncomfortable. The next day he seemed fine. Then yesterday he complained of similiar symptoms saying that he felt pain, burning and a 'lump' in his groin area. He didn't want to walk around much. Today, again he felt better. He is being treated with an antibiotics for the sinus infection, but the cough lingers on. The cough is however slowly improving. Is it possible that the coughing caused a hernia? Should I take him back to the doctor even if he is not showing symptoms? Or should we wait to see if it continues to reoccur? Thanks in advance for your time and thoughts!
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replied October 4th, 2009
His groin lump could indeed be a hernia that has resulted from a congenital weakness in this area, exacerbated by coughing. It could also be an enlarged lymph node, caused by his viral infection.

I would have him reassessed by his pediatrician. If your son still complains of a groin mass (either continuously or intermittently), and the pediatrician cannot find a hernia or other groin abnormality, then you might want to request a consultation with a surgeon.

Sincerely/ Robert A. Wascher, MD, FACS

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